I know my parents used to tell me this all the time, and of course I never believed it. “In my day, we didn’t have ________.” You fill in the blank, because as you read this I know that you’ve heard these exact words uttered many times. I’ve heard them more than I can count. One of my favorite memories of my dad was the story he told me about hiking uphill through two feet of snow just to get to school. Of course, growing up living at the top of a mountain in West Virginia, I can somewhat believe the tale he used to tell me, but even now, I think there was a bit of exaggeration in there. But, since he’s no longer with me, I hold his exaggerated tale dear to my heart.
Now, I find myself saying the same kinds of things to my children. We didn’t have cell phones growing up, computers came out just as I was graduating and we had one in our home the last two years of high school. Of course we had the old Macintosh that you had to literally decode to play, and we would play the famous Oregon Trail for hours in computer class, which was actually only about a half an hour. There goes that exaggeration again:)
I tell my son and my daughter regularly that they live in a very privileged world. And they do. They don’t know how lucky they are to turn on the television and watch whatever they want when they want. I remember the days of three channels and Saturday morning cartoons. I also remember the days when we didn’t even turn the TV on all day long, and played outside from morning to night. That’s the world I grew up in, and this one is a completely new ball game. With the internet, social media and cell phones, these kids really have to be careful as to not get themselves into trouble. People are a lot stranger and so many bad things happen any more that I don’t even let my kids outside by themselves. Yet another thing that has changed. Or perhaps it was always like that, but my parents made me feel so safe that I never noticed. I don’t know.
Times change and people grow old and one day, we won’t be here any longer. Choose your words wisely and pass along good life lessons to your children. One day, they might need them for their, “In my day,” stories. One day, they may just tell their own children about what their Mom or Dad used to say, with a smile lighting up their whole heart. And one day, you might just be shining down on them from above, watching them pass along those traditions you wouldn’t trade for a life time.